I do not own rights to the music in this video. Any content used is intended for educational purposes. Blackface allowed actors and artists to hide behind a caricature while protesting and mocking the powerful without fear of retaliation. Minstrel performers could safely question authority while claiming to be acting out authentic African American expressions. The primary function of blackface wasn’t just to invoke the “other,” but also to act as a mask. “The performers are maskers whose assumed disguises facilitate ironic poses that paint figurative portraits,” Finson observed. In times of carnival, celebrants often transvested, or wore the clothes of others to take on their identity. A common worker might dress up like an aristocrat or deliberately dress in low garb to become a pirate, a bum, a convict, and so on. Blackface became a mainstay of stage and later film performance in the twentieth century. Most often blackface was used as a comic device that played on the stereotypes of black laziness, ignorance, or crass behavior for laughs. Sometimes blackface was used simply to portray black characters. These erroneous portrayals of black life were seen by thousands of Americans in the decades before the Civil War. Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln attended and enjoyed minstrel shows. President Lincoln had the Union band play Dixie at Lee’s surrender; the comic dialogues in Huckleberry Finn are reminiscent of minstrel performances. Minstrelsy became America’s first national popular culture. Music The Virginians – Nothing Could Be Sweeter (1927) Works Cited B. (2012). 3 stooges in black face. Retrieved June 30, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGNpY3O8ZoE I. (2010). Al Jolson Blackface Minstrel Show. Retrieved June 30, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhavaXOynO8 I. (2013). Blackface Minstrel Show Sand Dance. Retrieved June 30, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6dXrm1YjBE Blackface Minstrel Troupe [Photograph]. (1870). Public Domain, London. M. (2011). Blacks and Vaudeville - part 1 from documentary. Retrieved June 30, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agTF2E83AUY I. (2010). Christy's Minstrels in Blackface - Part 2. Retrieved June 30, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3Hm-G6U_Q8 I. (2013). Cotton and Chick Watts Blackface Minstrel Show Comedy. Retrieved June 30, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_swtbIi2F0 F. (2014). Jerry Purpdrank - All Watermelon Vines 1080p ᴴᴰ (11 vines) (As of August 1, 2014). Retrieved June 30, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk7bxNPR1Ag C. (2014). Uncle Tom and Little Eva 1932 aka Pickaninny Blues Van Beuren Studios. Retrieved June 30, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lS5znQbApt4